Supreme, a brand of skateboards and clothing, opened its first store in New York City in 1994. Supreme capitalized on skateboarding culture by selling skateboards and fashion. Supreme has paved the way for limited time drops and over the top designs with hypebeasts being drawn towards its merchandise because of its exclusivity.


     Like many startups, Supreme started from humble beginnings but defied the odds by becoming an international sensation. Supreme first store was located on Lafayette Street in New York City. Supreme started by selling custom skateboards but branched out to other product lines. According to “A Brief History of Supreme,” “they noticed customers would come with expensive clothing, paired with mainstream clothing.” The brand decided if it  made a sweatshirt of higher quality with exclusive designs, its customers would pay just a little more for it. After Supreme dropped its first piece, the young adult demographic went crazy.


     Differing from other brands, Supreme sells its clothes in limited time drops. Limited time drops are when a company has a limited amount of merchandise to sell and, when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. “These limited drops create a huge resale market. In store purchases on release dates are not that expensive, but the same product is expensive when resold after the product sells out,” said Jessica Tyler, a writer for business insider August 20, 2018. For instance, a Supreme tee can go for hundreds of dollars when resold. Some people earn their living by buying and reselling exclusive items like those sold by Supreme. Other businesses have used Supreme’s model to sell their products. This business strategy has sparked a culture of people called hypebeasts. Hypebeasts are people who hop onto the latest fashion trends. Supreme is the epicenter of hypebeasts. Supreme’s brand is very exclusive compared to mainstream brands like Nike and Vans. 


    I personally experienced a Supreme store when in London this Summer and it was very different than I would have expected. First, the store was located in a very nondescript neighborhood, Even though out of the way, an unexpectedly large crowd showed up on a Monday afternoon.We did not expect to wait in line for an hour. Security guards only let waves of eight to ten people into the store at a time. Once we went into the store, The store had a different feel than expected being smaller with limited product lines. Since only twelve stores exist, I had a surreal experience that makes me want to go back again. 

    The Supreme brand has grown from nothing into one of the largest, high-end brands in the world. It has world notoriety, and collallaberate with mainstream brands such as Nike, Polo, Fox and Northface. Supreme is now mainly a clothing brand but stays true to its skateboarding roots.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email